TakeRoot Justice is proud to be a founding organization of Supportive Housing Organized and United Tenants (SHOUT), the city’s first ever tenant union of supportive housing tenants and applicants. The creation and impact of the coalition – just this year! – is a great example of the grassroots, intersectional work that our Housing Rights Practice Area does every day.
Supportive housing is affordable housing with supportive social services in place for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness (often due to disability or mental health conditions). Although supportive housing has long been presented as the premiere solution to housing insecurity and chronic homelessness, many supportive housing tenants have experienced neglect, harassment, discrimination, illegal eviction, and general disregard of their essential tenancy rights by landlords and supportive housing providers alike.
SHOUT aims to hold supportive housing providers accountable to the people they are intended to serve. SHOUT was formed to center the experiences of supportive housing tenants and applicants, and to ensure that supportive housing in New York City lives up to its vision and intent: accessible, stable, and dignified permanent housing that is truly supportive of tenants and applicants.
In its first year, SHOUT has won a number of impressive of victories. The coalition has brought the experiences of supportive housing tenants and applicants to the halls of power by meeting with representatives of the Dept. of Social Services, the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the New York State Office of Mental Health. SHOUT has also passed two critical pieces of citywide legislation, and created a powerful tenant-led “Know Your Rights” training. And the coalition is just getting started!